Bike vs. Bike - Santa Cruz Hightower LT or Transition Sentinel

The Vital Bike Check section is a dangerous place. There are so many incredibly-built bikes with hand-picked parts and custom graphics, that you can find yourself with a severe case of FOMO. Well, we're here to aid in that fear of missing out. If only for the sake of fantasy, let's compare two sexy, long-travel 29er beasts posted by Vital members, mpj96 and digbyshaw - a Santa Cruz Hightower LT and Transition Sentinel.

They're both full of blingy Hope bits, have FOX suspension and Maxxis meats, but after that, the differences are both visual and in the finer details of the build. The Hightower has Shimano drivetrain while the Sentinel has SRAM Eagle GX. Spank Vibrocore bars on the Hightower compared to Race Face SixC on the Transition. Completely custom stickers for the Hightower versus and eye-catching but stock-part color scheme for the Transition.

Investigate the builds, compare, contrast and then vote for your favorite between these rock-rolling beauties below.

MPJ96's Santa Cruz Hightower LT

All the sticker work done by

Digbyshaw's Transition Sentinel

Vote for your favorite!

Vital MTB Poll

Bike vs. Bike Vital Member Edition

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  • paulo.b.santos.7

    1/12/2018 3:11 PM

    Hightower Lt it´s an Hightower on steroids,pitty they use the same front trangle,the LT has a too steep Seat Angle to climb decentely

  • Jaylynx13

    1/12/2018 10:40 PM

    Too steep? I have OG HT and with exposed seatpost I have, the effective angle becomes too relaxed to point I’m way over rear wheel and climbing suffers?

  • vassot

    1/13/2018 9:09 AM

    You mean slack....It looks slack on papers but I climb quite well much better than my old Spartan.

  • dv8zen

    1/12/2018 11:10 AM

    Bars too high on that HTLT and cockpit still seems on the short side on the Sentinel. Too much orange and yellow... since it's just a popularity contest, I picked the HTLT cause I think grey is the best neutral color.

  • Gnarsellus Wallace

    1/12/2018 10:38 AM

    No brainer, Santa Cruz makes thee best bikes!

  • sspomer

    1/12/2018 8:10 AM

    hey all, we've been doing these for a while now and it's never been a test or shoot-out on our site. this is the second one done from member bike checks (because our members have the sickest bikes). we never meant confusion about it not being a test. you can see all the ones we've done before -

  • Jaisun

    1/12/2018 10:29 AM

    booo! You're forgiven though, cause the Inside Line has been such a good listen. (props)

  • Jaisun

    1/12/2018 7:16 AM

    Seconded... Where is the head to head comparison and insight? Title is a little on the click-bait side of things guys.

  • woodybepierced

    1/12/2018 6:37 AM


  • gtbikes

    1/11/2018 1:21 PM

    Considering I have the Sentinel as my desktop background I think I voted a while ago

  • Salespunk

    1/11/2018 11:56 AM

    I was all excited about a head to head comparison!

  • Cool3

    1/12/2018 11:40 AM

    I was too...

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